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Can I claim my 19 year old sister?

1 Reply
Intuit Alumni

Can I claim my 19 year old sister?

Maybe.  You can claim your sister as a dependent if she meets the tests for either a "qualifying child" or a "qualifying relative."

Five tests must be met for your son to be your qualifying child and a dependent:  relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return.

1.  Relationship - She's your sister, so she qualifies here.

2.  Age - Was your sister 19 on December 31, 2016?  She must be one of the following:

  • Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly),
  • A student under age 24 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or
  • Permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age.

3.  Residency - The child must have lived with you for more than half the year. [There are exceptions for temporary absences, like college.]

4.  Support - The child can't have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.

5.  Joint return - To meet this test, the child can't file a joint return for the year.


If your sister doesn't meet all the requirements as a qualifying child, you might be able to claim her as a "qualifying relative.

Qualifying Relative

1.  Not a qualifying child - She doesn't meet the tests listed above.   

2.  Member of household or relationship test –  Your sister doesn't have to live with you, but it's OK if she does.

3.  Gross income test - To meet this test, a person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,050.  Gross income is all income in the form of money, property, and services that isn't exempt from tax.

4.  Support test - To meet this test, you generally must provide more than half of a person's total support during the calendar year.  You figure whether you have provided more than half of a person's total support by comparing the amount you contributed to that person's support with the entire amount of support that person received from all sources. This includes support the person provided from his or her own funds.

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